How to Spend a Half Day in San Antonio - Where to stay, What to do and see

I chuckle when friends tell me they don't travel because they do not have a full week or weekend to explore. My travel philosophy is to make the most of anytime you can carve on - Sometimes - all you have is half a day. Ttrust me there is plenty you can see and do in a given city with half a day - especially a city like San Antonio.

San Antonio, TX

San Antonio is one of those cities that has grabbed a hold of my wanderlust heart and won't let go. As many times as I have been here and taken the boat tour or explored the Alamo - it never gets old. I recently found myself stranded in the city when a quick day trip required an overnight stay. I never miss an opportunity to explore a city so instead of panicking, I checked myself into a hotel and rediscovered San Antonio.

San Antonio River Walk

If you don't have a lot of time, I suggest a hotel in the riverwalk/downtown area. Some of my favorites -  Hilton Palacio del Rio and the Omni La Mansion . On this last trip , I went with the Hilton.

Travel Tip: If you find yourself in a pinch for hotel rooms -  Don't always assume the 4 star hotels will be too expensive - a lot of times they are quite discounted so the room can be filled. I usually use HotelTonight app for last minute hotel deals. I was able to get my riverwalk view for less than market price. Now that accomodations are settled, on to exploring the city.

Hilton Palacio del Rio

I checked in too late to get to a lot of my favorite place, so I grabbed dinner at the river edge cafe. Took a short walk on the riverwalk and called it a night.

The next morning - I started out the day with the riverwalk cruise. Tickets cost $8.25. There are multiple spots to pickup tickets, including a spot on commerce right outside the or the spot across from the Hilton. 

Rio San Antonoi Cruise

The tours begin at 9 a.m with the last boat taking off at 9 p.m. Tours last about 35 minutes. You get to enjoy the view of the riverwalk and take in some history at the same time. The cruise is the quickest way to see some of highlights of downtown San Antonio including the marriage island, Aztec Theatre ; the Arneson River Theatre ar La Villita, and the Nix professional building (aka flat buiilding) to name a few.

Then I dined at Casa Rio.  This is one of the most popular spots on the walk. The food is great and the price is even better. Restaurant is open from 11 a.m. everday. Check out the menu here.

San Antonio

Took a walk over to Alamo Plaza, past the Alamo to check out some of the historic buildings. - including the Emily Morgan Hotel (which used to house the medical arts building before its renovation). The 9th floor of the hotel is said to be haunted - not really my speed, I am a sucker for architecture and this one reminds me of one of my favorites - the Flatiron building. 

Emily Morgan Hotel

Then I headed to the Alamo - This time I skipped buying tickets for the exhibit, I walked the grounds and the gardens. I always lose track of time her and this time was no different. The Alamo is a must see if you are in San Antonio - great history of America and Texas and after the history lesson, you can walk thr grounds and gardens.


Across the street from the Alamo is the are several other great plaecs yo stop in to including the Ripley's Haunted Adventure ; The Tomb Raider 3D Arcade ; Madam Toussard's house of wax.

Alamo Drive

I rounded out the afternoon with a visit to the Haagen-Daz store for a butter pecan ice-cream. Then it was time to check-out and head to back home.

Sure it was only 12 hours, but it was a very eventful 12 hours and I got a experience some parts of the Riverwalk and Alamo that I had not expereiced before.

Alamo Drive